John Barrett: Tottenham’s lack of success may force Harry Kane out

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (centre)

IF Liverpool are eventually persuaded to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the price tag will probably be around £100-million.

That would make the Brazilian the costliest player currently involved in English football – but that doesn’t mean he’s the most valuable.

Harry Kane holds that title. If Tottenham decided to sell him tomorrow, the England striker would fetch more money on the open market than anyone else in the Premier League.

More than Sergio Aguero or Alexis Sanchez, more than Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Paul Pogba or Spurs team-mate, Dele Alli.

Kane has scored 20-plus goals in each of the last three seasons and won the Golden Boot in the last two.

If he scores at his current rate for the next 10 seasons, he’ll overtake Alan Shearer as the all-time Premier League top scorer.

Kane is already a proven quantity and, having just turned 24, he could give a buyer more years than, say, Aguero or Sanchez.

It’s why Antonio Conte recently said: “If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker.”

However, as he starts his quest for a hat-trick of Golden Boots at St James’ Park today, Kane doesn’t want to go anywhere. Spurs is his club. Their fans are quick to sing: “He’s one of our own”.

The trouble is that playing for the team he supported as a boy has so far brought him just one League Cup runners-up medal.

Tottenham have come close to winning the Premier League in the last two seasons, but Kane and his mates have finished empty-handed each time.

There’s also a strict wage structure at his club. He may be their best-paid player, but his salary is pegged at around £100,000 a week, less than half his market value.

That’s fine as long as the financial shortfall can be balanced by the prospect of big trophies.

But if Spurs draw another blank in their 12-month lodging at Wembley, then Kane is going to have a real dilemma next summer.

How long can a top player stay, out of sheer loyalty, when the money and the trophies are elsewhere?

Given any encouragement, there would be a queue of clubs waving cheques well in excess of £100m next summer.

If the market continues its crazy upwards spiral, we could be almost talking Neymar money.

In other words, Tottenham just couldn’t say no.